Bristol-Myers Squibb and Vanderbilt University have signed a collaborative research agreement to develop novel therapies for Parkinson’s Disease.

The collaboration will focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of therapies acting on the mGluR4 glutamate receptor, known as positive allosteric modulators (PAMs).

VCNDD medicinal chemistry director Craig Lindsley said; "We all look forward to a productive collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb, which brings tremendous expertise and a strong commitment to advancing the program."

As a part of the agreement, the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery (VCNDD) will discover the therapeutic candidates from a program that is being funded by the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF).

Bristol-Myers has obtained the development and commercialisation rights of the products resulting from the collaborative research programme.

Bristol-Myers Squibb research senior vice president Francis Cuss said as part of the strategy the company continually seeks to build relationships with organisations that have new programmes and capabilities.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery’s highly regarded scientists and laboratories to potentially find a way to help patients with Parkinson’s disease," Cuss said.

Pursuant to the agreement, Vanderbilt University will earn an upfront payment and multi-year research funding to advance the discovery of additional compounds.

Vanderbilt is also entitled to earn developmental success milestones and worldwide sales’ royalties of the drugs emerging from the collaboration.

Image: A Bristol-Myers Squibb R&D facility Princeton Rd, Princeton, New Jersey, US. Photo: Courtesy of Coolcaesar at en.wikipedia.